The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District has released the results of their 2012 pre-plant soil moisture survey.  The survey, conducted on May 7, found dry soil conditions across the HPWD service area.

“The result of the annual pre-plant soil moisture survey gives producers an idea of soil moisture levels in their respective areas.  They can then make pre-plant irrigation decisions based upon this general knowledge and their own on-farm soil moisture tests,” said Gerald Crenwelge, HPWD field data collection supervisor.

The overall average 2012 pre-plant soil moisture deficit reading was 3.19 inches in the upper three feet of the root zone soil profile and 4.86 inches in the upper five feet.

This means that, on average, 3.19 inches of water was needed by irrigation or rainfall to fill the upper three feet of the soil profile and 4.86 inches was needed to fill the upper five feet at the time of the survey. Again, recent rainfall may have slightly improved soil moisture conditions in the upper three feet of the soil.

The deficit value map represents the amount of water (in inches) that can still be added to the soil while the available value map represents the amount of water (in inches) in the soil at the time of the survey.

The HPWD moisture maps were published in the May issue of The Cross Section, the High Plains Water District’s free monthly newsletter. They are also available for on-line viewing at the HPWD's website: http://www.hpwd.com/programs/MoistureSurvey.asp

HPWD also states that they expect conditions to improve after the rains received during the middle of May.